The man suspected of robbing eleven people while armed with a machete was on bail for a pending felony case at the time of the crimes and was discharged last year from a sentence he received for another series of robberies after completing just five of the 6-1/2 years a judge gave him, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Andre Gonzalez was charged with felony identity theft in Oak Park on April 8 and a judge allowed him to go home by paying a $2,000 bail bond deposit, Assistant State’s Attorney Sean Kelly said. Gonzalez, 35, was still on bond when he allegedly started robbing people while armed with a machete on May 27.
Kelly said police suspect Gonzalez of committing seven robberies besides the four that prosecutors charged him with Wednesday. The investigations into those cases continue, including one from May 27 in which Gonzalez allegedly used the victim’s credit card at a liquor store. Surveillance video from the store helped police break the case by providing investigators with images of Gonzalez, his car, and part of its license plate, Kelly continued.
The first crime that Gonzalez is charged with committing occurred on the 4000 block of West Eddy around 9:15 p.m. on June 3. Two women, ages 22 and 52, were walking home from dinner when a man parked his car just ahead of them and got out of the vehicle wielding a machete. One woman froze in her tracks at the sight of the weapon as the robber ordered her to hand over her purse, Kelly said. So, the other woman took the first woman’s purse from her arm and gave it to the man.
The next night, a similar robbery unfolded on the 3000 block of North Haussen.
And the night after that, June 5, a 52-year-old man heard a car door close behind him as he walked on the 3700 block of North Troy. He turned around and was confronted by a man who demanded his money while wielding a machete. The victim threw a pizza he was carrying at the robber, which caused the offender to lunge at him and swing the machete, Kelly said.
The robber stood over him with the machete and again ordered him to give up his wallet and money. This time, the victim threw his wallet toward the street. The robber picked up the wallet and the pizza, then drove away.
Assistant Public Defender Suzin Farber said Gonzalez is the father of four and works as a mover.
Judge Mary Marubio ordered Gonzalez held without bail on four counts of Class X armed robbery. She also held him without bail for violating the terms of bond in his pending identity theft case.
On August 29, 2018, Judge James Obbish sentenced Gonzalez to five 6-1/2 year sentences and a four-year sentence for six robberies that were committed on the Northwest Side in January and February 2016. Gonzalez served the sentences concurrently. Yet, the state discharged Gonzalez from parole in February 2021, Kelly said. That’s just five years after police arrested him for the robberies, according to court records.
The 2016 robberies were similar to the latest allegations, except there was no machete involved.
In one case, Kelly said, a male victim turned around to see Gonzalez pointing a gun at him and saying, “give me your f*cking money.”
In another, Gonzalez emerged from between two cars and put a hard object to the side of a woman’s head as he demanded her purse. He told the woman, “I have a gun and I’m not playing b*tch,” Kelly said. Gonzalez then punched the woman in the face, threw her to the ground, and fought for control of her purse.
All the other 2016 victims were also targeted on the street. Gonzalez attacked some and threatened to kill others, according to Kelly.